While many Floridians have been bundled up and hunkered down thanks to the repeated cold fronts, our sailors at MRPF have been making the most of the breeze!
The recreational sailing program enjoyed the final Sunday Funday of the winter in late January. Eight sailors, in a variety of boats, set a course for the floating dock at Emerson Point Preserve. We had a lot of fun exploring the trails for a few minutes before sailing back up the river. We are looking forward to resuming our recreational sailing program this month for the spring season.
In addition to joining in the Sunday rec sails, our 420 sailors have been busy representing MRPF around the state at regattas. James Freund and Brodie Hausman, both 14 years old, have been hard at work learning the ins and outs of their boat. They have tackled adversity at each regatta with creativity and endurance. Starting with a broken halyard at the Jenson Beach Crossroads Regatta – these sailors figured out they could compensate by using the trapeze upwind to keep the boat flat. Factor in the strong breeze all weekend and the cold weather, they overcame the obstacles and finished in the middle of the fleet, in spite of it all. Considering this was their first official 420 regatta, this is a huge accomplishment!
After Jenson Beach, they ventured north to the Clearwater 420 Open for some big wave and heavy air racing. This was their first regatta in the spinnaker class and they were competing against 16 & 17 year old sailors. Day one was what we like to call “survival mode” – with winds gusting over 15 knots, waves breaking in the Gulf, and cold temperatures. James & Brodie endured the conditions and gave it their all. During the 3rd race of the day, they experienced a broken spinnaker sheet and were allowed to race in the non-spinnaker class for the 4th and final race of the day, where they landed a first place.
Coach Lisa helped the guys with repairs afterwards, and they were back in the spinnaker class Sunday morning. Thankfully, the breeze decided to lay down to a much more manageable 10-12 knots. Their top finish of the day in this highly competitive fleet was a 5th place! This really boosted their confidence, considering it was only their second 420 regatta. We are so proud of these two for enthusiastically rising to the challenges. They are pumped for future regattas and have a lot to work on at practice in the meantime.
Sail fast and watch the boom!